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Water 2018, 10(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10010011

The Impact of Green Water Management Strategies on Household-Level Agricultural Water Productivity in a Semi-Arid Region: A Survey-based Assessment

1
Department of Geography, Urban, Environmental and Sustainability Studies, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN 55412, USA
2
Lanzhou Information Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
3
Key Laboratory of Ecohydrology of Inland River Basin, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Science, Lanzhou 730000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 December 2017 / Published: 24 December 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [669 KB, uploaded 25 December 2017]   |  

Abstract

This study evaluates the effect of policies that encourage farmers to shift to crops with higher water productivity (CWP) on the farm-level CWP of agricultural systems in a semi-arid region of western China. We combine survey results of farmers’ historical cropping decisions from a 2010 survey with estimates of CWP from agronomic experiments analogous to actual cultivation practices in the region to model CWP at the farm level and understand changes driven by shifting crops. Policies designed to replace subsistence agricultural systems with two cash crops; potatoes and maize; resulted in an increase in the CWP of semi-arid agricultural systems of approximately 30% between the years 1990–2010. This change was driven by shifting to crops that have a peak water demand that occurs in the portions of the growing season with the highest rainfall. The results of this article illustrate the potential of shifts in cropping patterns to increase the CWP of agricultural systems in semi-arid regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: agriculture; green water; vaporshift; crop water productivity; China; subsistence agriculture agriculture; green water; vaporshift; crop water productivity; China; subsistence agriculture
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Clarke-Sather, A.; Tang, X.; Xiong, Y.; Qu, J. The Impact of Green Water Management Strategies on Household-Level Agricultural Water Productivity in a Semi-Arid Region: A Survey-based Assessment. Water 2018, 10, 11.

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